Circumstantial Evidence

2754. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE (1935-USA). With CHICK CHANDLER. Intrepid reporter Jim “Lucky” Baldwin is in the courtroom as a judge instructs a jury that is about to decide the fate of an accused murderer whose conviction will be based solely on circumstantial evidence. “The state has actually proved nothing,” Baldwin remarks. “I tell you, it’s wrong to hang a man when the evidence is entirely circumstantial.” So, it is no surprise that the writer is outraged as the accused is found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He is determined to demonstrate that such verdicts and sentences are unjust. To prove his point, he and columnist Fred Stevens concoct a clever scheme. It so happens that Baldwin has just become engaged to Adrienne Grey, who in turn had spurned the romantic entreaties of Stevens. Ever the gentleman, Stevens has gallantly stepped aside in favor of his rival. Still, a reason exists for there to be hatred between the two men. So Baldwin proposes that he and Stevens stage a public quarrel. The reporter will begin carrying a gun. He will make brash remarks about Stevens and threaten to “get” the columnist. The plan will conclude with the burning down of Stevens’ house. His “bones” will be found in the ashes, and Baldwin surely will be arrested and convicted of murder. After the judge passes sentence Stevens will reappear, proving that Baldwin is innocent as no murder has been committed. Now, comes the first in a series of startling out-of-left-field plot twists. The only one we will reveal; it just so happens that Stevens actually is a sore loser in his failed quest for the hand of the fair Adrienne. Is he plotting to somehow double-cross Baldwin? He also has been carrying on an illicit affair with a married woman, a situation which is certain to play a role in the developing story. All of these characters come together and the result is a fast-paced and hard-hitting film that will both entertain you and massage your mind. Recommended. 63 minutes Crime Mystery Suspense